President Vaclav Klaus has expressed satisfaction with the progress that coalition talks have made. Following a meeting with Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek on Wednesday, Mr Klaus did not object to the three-party coalition being one short of the majority necessary to win a confidence vote. In a Czech Radio interview last year, the President said he wanted the parties of a new government to guarantee that they will have majority seats in parliament. At the time of the interview, though, he reacted to speculation that the main party in the fragile coalition, the Social Democrats, planned to form a minority government with the tacit support of the Communists.
The Czech football team's two first choice strikers will miss Saturday's Group E game against Ghana at the World Cup in Germany. Milan Baros has been struggling with a foot injury and missed most of the squad's training sessions, while Jan Koller has been ruled out of the remaining two group games after he strained his hamstring in Monday's 3-0 win over the United States.
The Prague Stock Exchange has experienced one of the worst days in its
history. With the value of shares tumbling, Tuesday saw a major
sell-off - a record 11 billion crowns worth of shares. Since the
beginning of the year, the total value of Czech shares has decreased by
over 20 percent.
Analysts say the current situation has nothing to do with prices of firms and economic indicators but rather an expected rise in interest rates in the United States, leading to the transfer of money across the Atlantic.
The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Green Party will sign an agreement to form a centre-right government by the end of the month, Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek told reporters on Wednesday. Mr Topolanek says the framework is in place to sign the agreement by the time the new parliament holds its first session, scheduled for June 27. Though Mr Topolanek would not release details of the agreement, all three parties have said that tax reforms have been agreed in principle and would form the basis of the coalition deal. Mr Topolanek says he is confident the Social Democrats will support the new coalition government.
A group of Czech football fans, who were not granted entry into Germany this week, were turned away for security reasons, the German Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Prague had issued a formal complaint to the ministry, after the Czechs said they were turned away by German border police for not having sufficient funds to cover their trip to the neighbouring state. Germany has been bracing itself for the anticipated three million visitors to the Football World Cup, which it is currently hosting, with tight security measures and controls.
The Green Party have decided to file a complaint with the Constitutional Court against the country's proportional representation electoral system. The Greens, who have won seats in parliament for the first time, say the current system discriminates against smaller parties. But if the court rules in favour of changing the electoral system, the results of the parliamentary elections earlier this month will not be affected.
Guns N' Roses - with a completely new line up behind frontman Axl Rose - performed in Prague on Tuesday, 14 years after Rose first took the stage in the Czech capital. Tuesday's show, held at Prague's Sazka Arena, saw an almost sell-out crowd. Rose took to the stage with the band's signature song "Welcome to the Jungle". Other hits performed included "Live and Let Die" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".
The Czech Republic has joined a growing list of countries recognising Montenegro's independence, ten days after the Balkan republic became Europe's newest sovereign state. Montenegro, once part of Yugoslavia, formally declared its independence on June 3rd after 55.5 percent of its voters last month supported separation from Serbia, with which it had been tied in a loose federation since 2003.
Police president Vladislav Husak has punished the deputy head of the Prague police force Zdenek Bezouska in connection with the May-day incident in which a police officer attacked human rights government representative Katerina Jacques who was taking part in a protest against a neo-Nazi demonstration in Prague. Bezouska has been demoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel for a period of six months. The police officer who attacked Jacques has been suspended and faces criminal charges. Several other officers have been punished in connection with the assault. Ms Jacques said on Tuesday that she was happy with the way the matter had been handled.
The Social Democrats are courting the Green Party as a possible coalition partner, should talks on a centre right government fail. The leader of the Green Party Martin Bursik said tentative attempts had been made to convince him that the Civic Democrats were not a good partner and cared little for environmental protection. Although in terms of their policy programme the Greens are closer to the Social Democrats, the party has refused to consider being part of a government that would have to rely on support from the Communist Party.
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